Progress in realising the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Objectives and Challenges

QUOTE

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO:            19

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3 OF 19 FEBRUARY 2008

DR. A. N LUTHULI (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

  • What progress has been made in realising the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) objectives and

  • What are the challenges in this regard?

REPLY:

  • The primary objectives of NEPAD are to (a) eradicate poverty, (b) to place African countries, both individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development; (c) to address underdevelopment and accelerate the full integration of Africa  into the global economy; and (d) the emancipation of women.

  • The Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund has been established to finance large scale African infrastructure development projects. Of critical and historic importance is the fact that the entirety of the capital of the fund, currently amounting to US $625-million, originates exclusively from within our continent.

  • The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative aims to offer an end-to-end ICT solution that will connect all African schools to the internet and the NEPAD e-schools network.  The objective of the project is to equip all African high schools and primary schools with ICT facilities. In April 2007, the Departments of Communications and Education and the Presidential National Commission (PNC) on Information Society and Development (ISAD) successfully launched the pilot phase of the South African NEPAD e-Schools programme.

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council approved an innovative $150 million programme to support over 28 countries (including South Africa) across Sub-Saharan African initiatives to fight land degradation. This program is directly related to the implementation of the land degradation thematic area of the environment initiative of NEPAD.

  • The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a flagship programme that has received international acclaim and the first set of reviews has been completed in Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Algeria and South Africa.  Thus far, twenty-nine countries have acceded to the APRM. The APRM process is addressing corruption, poor governance and inefficient delivery of public goods and services to their citizens. NEPAD through the APRM transparency is contributing to improved economic management and political stability. The economic outlook for the African continent is the best it has been for many years. There is an increase in countries following sound macro-economic planning, policies and management. This has had a significant impact on the average economic growth rate for the continent. African economies continue to sustain growth momentum of previous years, which recorded an overall real GDP growth rate of 5.7% in 2006, compared to 5.3% in 2005 and 5.2% in 2004.

  • NEPAD has forged global partnerships with industrialised and developing countries and multilateral organisations. Over the past five years, this has resulted in increased development assistance flows to Africa.  NEPAD has been integrated into the core Africa development initiatives undertaken by the United Nations, the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa at the European Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation, Development (OECD), the Commonwealth and World Trade Organisation. Internationally, NEPAD has been positioned to form the core of Africa’s South-South and South-North relationships. This has led to a host of international commitments in support of the implementation of NEPAD, e.g. the Millennium Declaration; the United Nations Declarations in support of NEPAD; the G-8 Africa Action Plan; the European Union Strategy for Africa; the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership; the Tokyo International Conference for African Development, and the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation.

  • As part of the programme, NEPAD has identified accelerating the empowerment of women as one of its key objectives.  To this end, NEPAD has established an office of gender and civil society organisations.  The role of the Gender Office is to promote the role of women in social and economic development by reinforcing their capacity in the domains of education and training; by developing revenue-generating activities through facilitating access to credit; and by assuring their participation in the political and economic life of African countries

  • While significant progress has been recorded in NEPAD implementation, a number of challenges still exist.  These need to be tackled head-on in order to move forward on NEPAD.

            Key challenges include:

  • Capacity Building

  • Resource Mobilisation

  • Integration of NEPAD Priorities into national development programmes

  • Widening APRM Participation

  • Converting pledges by developed countries into concrete actions

  • Making ODA more effective

  • Increasing ownership of projects

  • Lack of infrastructure and connectivity amongst the countries on the continent

  • Lack of value addition capacity

 

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